i'm on day 18 of vlogsgiving and just getting around to posting day NINE. trying to manage so much as a mommy, a wife, a business woman, a friend and falling "short" far too often than not can be SO frustrating. it can also be an incredible reminder of the GRACE we have been GIVEN and the importance of patience with ourselves and with others. it is crazy hard to practice patience with others when you have none with yourself. 

i've yelled at you (my babies) and attempted to dismiss you far too often lately. and, while it makes me feel incredibly guilty and like the world's worst homeschool mom the guilt fixes NOTHING. the reality is that i have been stretched, tested and under a lot of pressure but i ALWAYS have a choice. 

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i can choose to do whatever is nessasary to regain/restore/maitain the peace in my life and in our homeschool. so, while MATH has felt like our enemy lately and reading is starting to feel like a chore, i get to choose to refuse the pressures that you elect to leave behind when you make the decision to homeschool in the first place. 

today, i chose to SLOW DOWN, because there is NO NEED TO RUSH...

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it was as simple as grabbing our coats and hats and stepping right outside the front door. 

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^^^ this smile, thou^^^

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we took the time to watch the lady bug walk, we played in the mounds of leaves that are covering our front lawn, we collected sticks and had make pretend sword fights and then headed inside for hot chocolate and warm apple cider. it was a good choice!

from syreena, with love

{LIFE & LOVE THROUGH THE 4X5, 09.24.17...}


you know all those things that remind you that you are doing just fine?? i am certain that i need to think on those things more often. 

fall is here and everything has happened so fast. the summer FLEW by, the school year is in full effect, and we've kept all of the memories going no matter how tired or uncertain we've felt about the direction of our lives. 

this last month the kids made so much progress with their swimming lessons and are basically fish now! we've been to a few weddings and a TON of soccer games. the kids have been in "training" for TheFallCoKids, filling orders and sprinkling packages with love. and, my baby brother and his beautiful girlfriend made me an auntie for the first time with another niece/nephew on the way in just a couple more months.



so, no matter how i feel about how much further on the "path" i should be by now, Lord, help me to navigate my disappointments and setbacks so that i may stay the course and not give up!

just a little end of september life & love through the 4x5...

from syreena, with love


i am not the best at celebrating small victories. i am not really the best at celebrating big ones either. but, we've been married for ten whole years and i couldn't feel more blessed. blessed that he found me. blessed that he loves me. blessed that he covers me. blessed to know that we will be in this together until the very end. it is a wonderful feeling. 

happy anniversary baby! the best is on its way :)


from syreena, with love


over the last several days, i have questioned my qualification to homeschool my babies, changed my mind about choosing the right curriculum about eighty-five times, and have been overwhelmed with thoughts of inadequacy as their mama. a.k.a, we've been sick. 

it started the thursday before last with kendall bear, two days later.... it hit cam and I've been pushing through for over a week now. i keep reminding myself that it hasn't been THAT long and that this too shall pass but, its just been one of those times. 

is it just me or do all the sweetest moments with your kids happen at times where you have to fight to savor them??? you know, when you try your hardest to listen to their laugh in slow motion? i can't be the only one that does that. this time around i, basically, felt like i was near death and this sweet little lady baby insisted on staying right next to me. she wanted to "do mommy's hair"( which is NOT as sweet as it sounds). she kept grabbing my face and climbing on top of my head to check my temperature. it was like heaven and hell all at the same time (i kid, i kid...but not really). #realmotherhood


at any rate, i did everything within my power to try and savor the precious moments amongst the mess. and, these photos of my lady trying to read a few doc mcstuffins books to me to help me feel better... GOLD!

p.s. this TOO shall pass.

from syreena, with love 


a few weeks ago I went to visit my mother for a week, with the kids. I haven't been to visit my mommy in so very long. she lives far from me and between the lack of transportation and brian's minimal time off, it hasn't been possible to make the trip. that is, until brian's sister and her husband called to ask if i would like to ride with them to see my mom?!?!???

just so happens, she had to take a board exam around the area that my mother lives and they rented an air bnb near the lake to stay for the week. wait, what???

so the kids and i packed up and headed off to spend the week with grammy :)

the week leading up to our trip i experienced one of the most difficult anxiety attacks of my life. it lasted for days and was pretty hard to push through but with each day that passed, i pressed on. while my mother was still working the first couple days of the week, we spent the night on lake norman with tia and tio to relax until grammy was free. i rolled our suitcases back to the two rooms we would be sleeping in and was met with this message of truth the carried me through the remainder of my fight...


Psalm 121 (NKJV): "I will lift up my eyes to the hills--From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore."

and with my painted nails chipped, my lips swollen from a terrible anxiety attack and rocking my visionary tee that was a major reminder to me that i am to chose to see what it seems impossible for me to see in this very moment.... i was reminded to look to HIM and HIM alone. 

despite any of my feelings, we had such a great time. we stopped by to pick up a fishing license and i convinced the boys to take a few pictures with their mama :)

^^^ my biggest boy heading out for his very first time fishing at the lake :) ^^^

^^^ my baby girl getting ready for her first trip in a canoe ^^^

"It is well" by Bethel Music...
Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me
Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can't see
And this mountain that's in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well it is well with my soul
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You Lord
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me

we had such a great time on our first day at the lake!!! Of course, I filmed as much of the day as i could. we made such beautiful memories and the only thing missing was daddy :/

from syreena, with love